Finally I hit upon this plan, which gives me the sun or the stars when I want them. The curtains are ruffled down one side and across the bottom. A double row of stitching two inches from the top holds the small brass rod, and leaves a heading, which, when the curtain is fulled on the rod, looks like a ruffle. Just in the centre of the window-frame, these curtains are crossed. I allow a lap of ten inches on either side, but the size of the window must control this in individual cases. A band of the same material, or a ribbon (preferably a band), tacked in the corners of the frame, loops the curtains on either side at whatever angle is desired, the rest of the curtain falling in graceful lines. Privacy can then be secured by plants on the sill, which fill up the lower part of the window and leave the upper part free. Or, the thin over-hanging already referred to can be used, and drawn over the others when a special sense of security is desired. Instead of the brass rod, small brass-headed tacks can be used to fasten the curtains on the window-frame, but this can only be done in parts of the country where dust does not prevail, as in certain summer cottages in the woods where a curtain may do service for a season without washing.

It must be remembered that there are an endless number of thin materials used for covering the panes, and that they are often so costly as to be beyond the reach of the average householder. Sometimes they are of lace, sometimes of embroidered silk. A new fashion will be introduced from Paris, adorn for a season some private house, and then be found in every milliner's window or in the parlors of fashionable habit-makers. They become impossible for the private individual. These facts make it imperative for those who cannot afford to discard a thing because it has ceased to be sufficiently exclusive to be wary of committing themselves to extremes. It is better to be conservative in dress and furniture and in fashions of all kinds, unless one has money enough to buy the best of the changing styles.

Thin curtains are generally run on a small brass rod with a heading. The rod fastens in sockets at the side. These brass rods are very cheap. When a window is curved at the top, the brass rod is bent to follow the curve of the window-frame, a plan in every way to be preferred to that of using a grill over the top and suspending the curtain from below. These thin curtains should on no account be suspended from rings and curtain pins on the thick rod intended for the support of a heavy curtain. The room is only made untidy when this is done. If there be no dust to consider, as in the woods, and when the question of injuring the window-casing does not arise, the thin curtain is sometimes nailed to the frame, a band of the curtain material being tacked over the gathers with brass-headed tacks placed at regular intervals. The heading is left above the band.

The ordinary every-day modern house needs a heavy curtain, not only to keep off the draught, but to temper the light, and in many instances to soften the lines of ugly wood-work. When a house has been carefully designed by some architect, and when windows have been built as they should be, and as they are in certain places, curtains cease to be a necessity, and are sometimes impossible. Only the chosen few, however, have such houses. The rest of the world must concern itself with a curtain. And this curtain must always be chosen, strangely enough, less with reference to the window which it covers than to the wall against which the curtain is to be hung. Indeed, not only the wall color, but the texture of the wall-covering, must decide the question of color and texture for the curtain. Manufacturers are beginning to understand this, and in the larger windows of Fifth Avenue one sees wallpapers and curtains hanging side by side, having been designed with reference to each other. Some of the combinations are still displeasing.

It is difficult to lay down any one rule for the choosing of curtains, but generally speaking, when the flowered material appears on the wall, a plain material, or one of an unobtrusive design, should appear in the curtain, except in certain rooms of a particular size, like those of old English inns where curtains and wall-papers are exactly alike. Ordinarily, however, this combination is apt to produce an impression of confusion. The flower or figure of the wall-paper may, however, appear as a border on the drapery and only suggest a well thought out plan. When the textile, like a silk or a damask, is inconspicuous in design, the case is altered, and a room may be made interesting by curtains and walls and even furniture alike, the other appointments introduced lending variety to what might otherwise be monotonous. Many rooms are quite spoiled by draperies showing flowers or leaves different from those seen on the wall, as when a wall-paper has carnations and a curtain is covered with roses.

The color and texture of the floor-covering must also be considered in the choice of the curtain, not only because a cheap covering like a matting would throw a rich stuff at the windows out of key, but because the curtain, falling to the floor as it does, must not show too violent a contrast.

In the bedrooms of country houses where the wood-work is white, and where there are awnings, window-boxes, blinds, or thick shades for keeping out the early morning light, but one pair of curtains is desirable, and those may be of white dotted muslin, white dimity, French muslin, or a chintz with a white ground. Old-fashioned unbleached cotton with a ruffle of the same and a band of color, especially of Turkey red, is not bad as a curtain in simple country-house bedrooms, nor are white dimity curtains trimmed with bands of chintz repeated somewhere else in the room.

If the groundwork of the wall-paper be white, and other conditions referred to prevail, these white curtains are charming. Now and then the woodwork is dark, requiring a paper with a different ground; then a white paper becomes harsh. Whatever its color or quality, however, it must be made of a stuff that can be laundered. A woollen curtain in any bedroom is an abomination. Again and again, however, they are seen, old parlor curtains being sent upstairs as they grew shabby, or to furnish a country house when the town house has been renovated. Rather than have woollen curtains have none.